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The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague
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Can Adultery Affect a Divorce?


Will adultery affect your divorce settlement? The short answer is not really;, or not legally at least. California is a no-fault divorce state which means you can get divorced for almost any reason. The usual reason is "irreconcilable differences," which is an acknowledgement that your relationship has problems which cannot be overcome. There is no need to give the court a reason as to why your marriage failed, all that matters is that your marriage is not salvageable. This process quickens emotional healing by preventing disputes over the reason the marriage will not work.

What about determining spousal support?

Spousal support, or alimony, is where judges have some discretion as to what amount would be fair under the circumstances of adultery.

Judges take many factors into account including:

  • Each spouse's earning capacity to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage
  • Extent of contribution from one spouse to another's education, training, career position, or licensure
  • The paying spouse's ability to pay alimony
  • Needs of each spouse based on established standard of living
  • The length of the marriage

One factor the judge will not consider when determining alimony is adultery. Alimony is meant to provide for one of the spouses, not to punish the other.

If you are considering proceeding with a divorce, make sure you have strong representation from an Orange County divorce attorney from The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague so your rights are protected.

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